Homeland accused of damaging relations between 'hostile' US and depicted countries
Iran, Lebanon and Venezuela have criticised 'poisonous' producers
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Monday 16 December 2013
While its audience may find Homeland’s plot twists and turns increasingly implausible, the award-winning drama is still sufficiently incendiary to damage relations between the US and Iran, according to a leading expert on the Middle East.
Fawaz Gerges, Emirates Chair of the Contemporary Middle East at the London School of Economics, told Hollywood news site The Wrap: “Homeland is poisonous to any attempt to bridge the divide between the two nations.”
The third series of the spy drama, which concluded on American screens on Sunday, focussed on a US plot to assassinate the chief of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, and to install a CIA mole in his place.
“The portrayal of Iran and Iranians as terrorists, as violent, as scheming, really enforces Iranians’ images of the United States as a hostile nation, as a nation that cannot be trusted,” Gerges said. “It’s not only harmful and insidious, but it does basically create and really enforce hostilities between the people of the two nations.”
The Lebanese government is reportedly weighing the possibility of legal action against Homeland’s producers for the show’s skewed depiction of Beirut during its second series. Lebanon’s minister of tourism told the Associated Press that Homeland had misrepresented the city as a “hotbed of violence”.
Meanwhile, Venezuela has complained about the portrayal of Caracas in a recent episode, which featured a skyscraper-turned-slum known as the Tower of David.
Diplomatic relations between the US and Venezuela are strained, and neither country has had an ambassador in the other’s capital since 2010.
In a statement issued to Foreign Policy magazine, the Venezuelan government asked, “What reasons might there be for Venezuela to appear in a show so openly supported by President Obama, and backed by the CIA? Are they preparing the American people to feel justified in some aggression against our country…? Only time will tell.”
Of Homeland’s Iran-themed plot, Alexander Cary, a writer and executive producer of the show, recently told the Evening Standard: “In the first season we wrote about a terrorist hit on America and hoped we weren’t right. In the second, we wrote about whether or not Israel would bomb Iran, and we were still hoping we weren’t right.
"This third season we discussed changing the dynamic between Iran and the West, and we weren’t even hoping either way, because we thought it just wasn’t on the books.”
Glastonbury Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend will perform with Paul Weller as their warm-up act
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Qataris pledge to expand Canary Wharf
- 2 #JeSuisEd: People share photos of themselves eating awkwardly in solidarity with Labour leader
- 3 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
- 4 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
- 5 Watch eerie drone footage of destroyed building in Stalingrad
Penny Dreadful, series 2 episode 1, review: It is still gloriously silly
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to replace Jeremy Clarkson and co
Eurovision 2015: What date and time is the song contest and who are the favourites to win?
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
General Election 2015: Sturgeon claims Scots 'appalled' by Ed Miliband's refusal to work with SNP